Dust mites are small mites that feed on dead skin and mold. They are all over your home and lurking everywhere. Since these mites are responsible for many allergic reactions due to their bites and feces, you should try to clean your home often to get rid of dust mites.
So, if you have allergies to dust mites, read on to know how to get rid of dust mites naturally.
How to Know If You Have Dust Mites
You need to know that everyone has dust mites in their homes. And, you won’t get rid of all the dust mites as it’s pretty much impossible.
That said, there are ways to reduce their numbers. This will help to reduce the coughing, sneezing, itching, and other allergic reactions associated with dust mites.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites Naturally
Here are some suggestions for natural ways to get rid of dust mites.
1. Wash and Vacuum Your Bedding
Your bed is a breeding ground for dust mites for two reasons. First off, your bed tends to be a dark, warm, and humid place that provides a good home for dust mites. Secondly, people shed their skins cells at night usually in their beds, which give the dust mites a ready source of food.
So, cleaning your bed area is a great idea to reduce dust mites.
Washing and drying your sheets at 140°F (60°C) can help reduce dust mites as they can’t survive prolonged hot temperatures. Doing this will also remove their fecal matter as well as the dead skin that they consume.
Be sure to vacuum the mattress before you put the sheets back on the bed. And, pay special attention to the crevices of the bed where your dead skin cells might be trapped, as the mites might be living there.
2. Use Anti-Allergy Mattress and Mattress Cover
Using an anti-allergy mattress and mattress cover can also help reduce the dust mites in your home. They act as a barrier between you and the dust mites, which means fewer skin cells make it to their mouths. It also reduces the number of dust mite allergens coming from the mattress to your skin.
3. Do Not Make Your Bed
This flies in the face of everything your parents tried to instill in you. But, not making your bed can actually help you with dust mites.
Just pull the sheets right off and let them air out. Doing this will reduce the moisture and humidity that help dust mites survive.
4. No Pets on the Bed
Dust mites are not picky about what their food source is. In addition to human skin cells, they also love feeding on pet skin cells as well. So, if you let your pets into your bedroom and on to your bed, you are providing the dust mites with more food. Simply limit the time your pet spends in the bedroom and on the bed.
Also, keeping your pets well-groomed can help reduce the amount of dander spread around the home.
5. Get Rid of Your Carpet
Carpets are also a good breeding ground for dust mites. Carpeting can not only trap dead skin cells from you, but also from your pets along with their dander.
Hard wood and laminate flooring will not contain those materials nearly as much. However, since replacing carpet can be costly, the other alternative is to vacuum on a regular basis.
6. Control the Temperature of Your Home
Dust mites have a comfort zone of temperature and humidity. They thrive in temperatures between 75 and 80°F (or 24 and 27°C) and humidity of around 70 to 80%.
So, keep temperatures at 70°F and below, as well as humidity below 70% to make it harder for the dust mites to survive.
Related Article: Is Your Air Conditioner the Reason You Can’t Stop Sneezing?
7. Eucalyptus Oil as a Deterrent
Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil that seems to have a pretty deadly effect on dust mites. It can help to reduce the number of dust mites in your home when used as part of a liquid solution.
Add 20 drops of eucalyptus oil to your wash for added dust mite extermination. You can also mix 30 drops in a spray bottle with water and spritz it around the house to deter dust mites from continuing.
8. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth comes from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. It’s often used in hydroponic gardens and can also be used to help reduce dust mites in your home.
Diatomaceous earth seems very soft to us humans, but to small and microscopic bugs, diatomaceous earth is razor sharp. Simply sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the house and on your bed. Leave it there for a few hours before vacuuming it up.
9. Soft Furnishings Can Be Trouble
Soft curtains, cushions, pillows, and even stuffed animals can make good homes for dust mites as well. Especially if they are in areas that don’t receive a lot of cleaning or dusting.
If you truly want to reduce dust mites in your home to a minimum, replace all of these soft furnishings with hard ones. Of course, this is really hard to do and also borders on ridiculousness. However, these are good places for dust mites to survive.
Curtains are a dust mite’s debris haven. So, anytime you fling them open, you are throwing that debris into the air. And, each time you flop on to the couch, the dust mite debris also goes into the air.
If getting rid of these furnishings is not an option, try steam cleaning them on a regular basis. The steam will kill any dust mites as well as clean out their debris. As for stuffed animals, make sure you clean them regularly.
10. Open Your Windows
Many of us have air conditioning in our homes, but sometimes, just opening the window can help with dust mites. Circulating the air and increasing the air flow in your home can help control humidity and reduce the amount of dust.
11. Clean Your Home Often
The best way to keep dust mites at bay is to disturb their living areas and food sources. And, the easiest way to do that is to clean your home regularly.
Dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping on a weekly basis won’t get rid of all the dust mites, but it will keep them and the allergens they produce down.
Dust Mites Will Always Be There
Dust mites are everywhere, and they are so small that you can’t even see them. That said, keep in mind that you will never get rid of all of them. Just work with the idea of reducing their effect and numbers.
If you suffer from allergic reactions to dust mite debris and feces, then getting rid of them should be your top priority or obsession. Be sure to clean your home regularly and make changes where you can. Control the temperature and humidity in your home, and change and wash your sheets once a week. Following these tips may make a drastic difference in your home.
Five Tips to Help Reduce Exposure to Dust Mites
Wordinger, D., “10 Tips to Get Rid of Dust Mites in Your House,” Den Garden, April 25, 2016; https://dengarden.com/pest-control/How-to-Get-Rid-of-Dust-Mites-in-Your-House, last accessed August 11, 2017.
“How to Get Rid of Dust Mites,” wikiHow; http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Dust-Mites, last accessed August 11, 2017.
Cerny, D., “Saying Good Night to the Dust Mite,” Allergic Living, November 22, 2010; https://allergicliving.com/2010/11/22/dust-mite-allergy-uncovered/, last accessed August 11, 2017.